A week after taking the unprecedented step of suspending three colleagues, the California state Senate erased the lawmakers’ names, press releases and archives from its websites. The Senate left in place bare-bones information for the districts of Democratic Sens.
On the one hand, the Senate’s actions make sense. The senators are suspended — they can’t vote or set foot in the chamber. Senate President Pro Tem
But on the other hand, deleting the lawmakers' archives deprives the public — and journalists — of useful information, such as statements and press releases, that may be enlightening as Yee's and Calderon's cases proceed through the court system. CalNewsroom.com said it had used Yee's website as recently as Friday to track his history on gun control legislation, and other interested observers might have wanted to research his past statements when Yee was arraigned Tuesday on federal gun-trafficking charges.
Senators are understandably trying to distance themselves from the lawmakers and send a clear message that corruption and dishonesty will be punished. Yee was indicted last month for allegedly exchanging political favors for campaign cash and attempting to broker illegal gun deals; Calderon was indicted in February for allegedly soliciting and taking bribes; and Wright was convicted in January on voter fraud and perjury charges for lying about his legal residence when he ran for office.
It's one thing to shun a scandalous colleague, but is it appropriate to erase their public histories in the Senate before they're actually expelled or resign?
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